Marathon swim marks brave Leeds mum’s journey from amputation blunder horror to a new hope

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An inspirational woman is preparing to swim the length of the English Channel to mark 20 years since her leg was amputated as a result of a horrific misdiagnosis.

Vicki Gilbert was wrongly diagnosed by doctors with bone cancer in 1992, while studying physical education at Leeds Beckett University.

She endured 13 operations, six sessions of chemotherapy and had her leg amputated, before it was discovered she actually had a benign cyst.

Now a lecturer at the university, the mum-of-three is to swim the 22 miles in 12 weeks - to raise money for Aspire, a charity that helps people paralysed by spinal cord injuries.

Vicki said: “I was originally diagnosed with a benign cyst.

“They then did more tests and said I had bone cancer, so I started all of the necessary treatment for the tumour.

“Twenty years on and I am still tackling the long term health effects of what happened and the consequences of that misdiagnosis. At the time I just kept going, and managed to graduate at the same time as all of my classmates.”

Vicki has been a part-time lecturer at Leeds Beckett for more than two years.

She also runs her own business, Tiny Signers, teaching sign language to children.”